Congressional candidate Geraldine Thompson’s responses are in bold. Thompson is running in Florida’s 10th Congressional District and the Democratic primary election is on August 30th.
- What are three top national legislative priorities for the country?
* Jobs with livable wages;
* Sustainable/renewable energy/global warming;
- In your district specifically, what are the three most important issues on which you believe the federal government needs to act? If elected to Congress, how would you take action on one of those issues?
* Jobs with livable wages;
* Gun reform – I would support reinstatement of the assault weapons ban;
- What is one thing that distinguishes you most from the other candidates in this race?
I did not seek to begin a legislative career in Congress. Rather, I was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2006 and learned to craft legislation and get it passed. I was elected to the Florida Senate in 2012 and worked on legislation and appropriations and brought home millions in funding for the district. I learned the process from the ground up and am best prepared to serve in Congress.
- What are the most important actions Congress can take to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home?
The radical interpretation of the Quran espoused by ISIS polarizes it from most Muslims. Working with traditional Muslims within the US will decrease the possibility of those at home being radicalized. Abroad, the US must ensure that there are strong arrangements in place to assure security and peace within Libya by supporting local allies.
- Would you support legislation seeking to make it harder for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the US? Are there any “bans” you would support in the name of national security?
The United States has committed to accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees by September 30th . The individuals have to be carefully vetted before entering the US. I support stringent background checks but no bans.
- What do you believe is the best strategic course for the United States to take in the Syrian conflict? Do you support a Syrian no-fly zone or the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones? Why or Why not?
I believe the US should use diplomacy to stabilize conditions in Syria. I support a no-fly zone to protect the country’s air space and strongly support US enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones where people will have access to food, water, and medical care.
- Would you support legislation giving U.S. authorities more access to encrypted or “dark web” communications about potential terrorist plots? What measures, if any, would you support?
If there is probable cause demonstrated, I would support US authorities gaining access to encrypted communications.
- What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?
The US must reinstate the military assault weapons ban and access to magazines of ammunition with enough rounds to kill hundreds of people.’
- Do you support or oppose the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act?”
I support the Act which focuses on individuals who have been found to be engaged in or providing support to terrorist activities. The Act provides for legal action by individuals who challenge a denial to a firearm or explosives license.
- Do you believe there is scientific evidence of climate change, and it is caused by human activity? What is your position on the Paris climate change agreement?
I believe there is scientific evidence of climate change that is caused by human activity. The Paris Climate Change Agreement is a good start to begin to lower carbon emissions.
- What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?
I support raising the tax rate on income above one million dollars a year to 50%, the rate applied under President Reagan. I support eliminating tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs offshore.
- What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?
Congress could eliminate the cap of $118,500 earning as the amount beyond which workers do not have to contribute to Social Security. The federal government should negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid participants to save money.
- Do you support raising the minimum wage, and to what amount and by when?
Raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2018.
- Should Obamacare be overturned, left intact, or changed? Please explain.
Obamacare should not be overturned but could be improved by allowing individuals to buy into a single pay program such as Medicare.
- Do you support federal funding of health care services provided by Planned Parenthood? Why or Why not?
I support federal funding of healthcare services provided by Planned Parenthood which offers contraceptives, mammograms, pap smears, STD treatments, and other services to needy individuals.
- What are the most important actions Congress can take on immigration reform?
Mandate that businesses use E-verify or a similar system to document that individuals can legally work in the United States. Additionally, businesses should be required to pay all workers an established minimum wage which would lessen the incentive to hire undocumenteds willing to work for substandard wages.
- President Obama used his executive powers to prevent the deportation of “Dreamers” – youth who came to the U.S. illegally as children with their parents. Would you support legislation to prevent Dreamer deportations? Do you support putting Dreamers on a path to citizenship?
I support legislation to prevent the deportation of Dreamers. I support a path to citizenship for Dreamers which would include work permits and driver’s licenses.
- Would you support building a wall across the southern border?
I would not support building a wall across the southern border.
- What congressional reform do you favor to address America’s student loan crisis?
I support free community college and giving students the same low loan interest rates as big banks.
- Any closing remarks or other issues you would like to address?